June 28, 2012 Today's Activities by Sydney Barnes (Arizona)
Today was another absolutely amazing day in Kangerlussuaq! Bright and early this morning we went to breakfast in the "cafeteria" which is really just a little restaurant on base. It was delicious! They have the bets breakfast here and they even have chocolate-nutella-ish spread you can put on it! After breakfast we were able to chill out in the dorms and unpack until lunch. For lunch we had some sort of thinly sliced meat, smoked salmon, salad, and pasta: mmmm. After lunch we decided to go on a hike around the area. We drove about 5 minutes up the mountain and then hiked down to the edge of the lake. It ended up being a two hour hike but it was SO worth it! Once you get up to the top of the mountain all you can see is the sparkle of the sun on the lake and hills all around. And if you look at the horizon, you can see the edge of the polar ice caps! And it was one of those moments where you realize how small you are. Standing on top of the world, literally. Surrounded by the most beautiful landscape you can imagine. Definitely a moment I'll never forget.
Also, when we were hiking back up the mountain towards the truck we ran into a reindeer who followed us most of the way back, which was adorable! And then on the drive back down the mountain we saw a baby reindeer from the car!
After our hike we were all starving so we decided to go out for dinner. We went out to a pizzeria wher we met Archer who was super cool! He was from Europe and he's traveled all over the world, just because. And he somehow ended up in kanger, but I'm not complaining cause he made absolutely amazing pizza! He even said if we went back tomorrow he would teach us how to make pizza ourselves! Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow? :D awesome. Once we came back to the dorms we got a short lecture from one of the coolest guys I think I've ever met. His name was Jeff Kerby, and he's a PhD student at Penn State. he's studying phenology, which is the study of timing of plants and animals. Like when plants bloom, when they die, when they're greenest, and when animals give birth, when the move around and things like that. It's facinating. His thesis is called "Spacial and Temporal Dimensions of Trophic Mismatch in Western Greenland." cool, huh? He showed us some awesome videos of his research and him in the field!
Tomorrow the rest of the students arrive through the day. The students will unpack equipment and help the Greenlandic and Danish students settle into the dorm.
Jeff Kirby of Penn State taught us about a bird called a Ptarmigin. In Greenlandic it's called a Aqisseq